Press conference

Didier Digard: "I am pleased"

Didier Digard spoke to the press following Le Gym's victory over Troyes on Matchday 33 of L1 (0-1).

Are you pleased after this win?
Yes, I am pleased. We gave away two chances at the end that we shouldn't have, but I think after a difficult period where people were really expecting us, managing to have 29 shots on goal is absolutely amazing. Mentally, I feel the players are ready to face challenges and truly believe in our project. It's very positive. We know that once again, luck is not on our side, but if we have to shoot 50 times to score two goals, we'll do it... As long as I have players with this mindset, I am very happy.

Jean-Clair Todibo wasn't in the matchday squad, can you tell us more about that?
JC (Todibo) felt pain in his hip yesterday. It had troubled him a bit before the Brest match. We ran some tests that, for now, show nothing. But I prefer to have the possibility of having JC for the last five matches rather than risking him today and losing him for the rest of the season.

Was Jordan Lotomba suffering with cramp?
Yes, he had cramp, and we hope it remains just that because after long periods of absence and such efforts, there are always risks. We would have liked to keep him on for two or three more minutes, but seeing Youcef (Atal) today brings us immense pleasure.

Hicham Boudaoui played a very important role again but the fact that he got a goal must make him want to make even more of an impact?
Seeing him score, honestly, is a real pleasure. It's often through these things that people attribute importance or not to a player. We see it in training, it's not the same, our eyes sparkle. But undoubtedly, making more of an impact is something that should be his objective, and today, he could have scored three goals. He has a great striking ability. If Hicham starts scoring, all the better.

What makes Hicham Boudaoui special?
Hicham has the ability to disappear. You are all focused on him, you see the ball, and suddenly there is neither the ball nor Hicham. It's the ability to escape pressure with impressive ease, the ability to bring real effort and find balance in the game. He has technical precision as well. And if, on top of that, there are goals, it will be amazing.

After continuously trying and not seeing the second goal come, did you start to wonder if the equaliser was looming?

To be very honest, I was torn when we conceded those two set-piece opportunities that we shouldn't have allowed, but I was so impressed by the team's desire to play, the desire to push forward. I didn't sense the players fearing a bad outcome because they always tried and were so determined to score the second goal.

Terem Moffi had a great chance to make it 2-0...

Yes, of course, but there were so many chances to make it 2-0, important ones where we were two or three metres out. I've said it from the beginning, I like to see people happy. Seeing Terem sad in the dressing room hurts me because he can't take the blame for this lack of goals. It's truly a team issue, and I especially don't want the players to doubt, quite the contrary, they must face up to it, to keep moving forward, and together we will find the solutions.

There are five matches left to play, how do you motivate your troops to try to believe in something?

Honestly, we don't want to believe in something. It's not just about the match, it's about what we demand from them every day. It's very hard to hear, and I'm aware that my message can sometimes be difficult to understand for the outside world, but I'm here so that next season can be a very big season, to give the players time to meet expectations, to implement what we want, and for them to develop as many connections as possible. It generates the desire to win and to try to finish in the best way possible. It's a project, we are struggling, and I'm aware of it. Even for me, it's complicated to say it every time, but when you're on the inside, you know what you're doing.

Finishing 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th is not the same at the end of the season...

Exactly, but it's so logical for me to want to step onto the pitch to win, and for my players as well. We've had some poor results, we can't pretend that the results have been good, but they have always given everything and tried to win those matches. I'm really not worried about the mindset, and I know that what they want is to finish in the best possible manner. We have a great match to come next week against Rennes, and I'm really looking forward to it.